WORCESTERSHIRE’s grassroots cricket champions will be honoured at an awards ceremony in Worcester later this month.
Hosted by Worcestershire Cricket, the Grassroots Cricket Awards is being staged at New Road, home of Worcestershire County Cricket Club, on Wednesday, September 22 and will salute the hard work of volunteers in difficult times.
Twenty awards are up for grabs, including eight England and Wales Cricket Board and three England and Wales Cricket Board Coaching Association gongs and nine prizes handed out by Worcestershire Cricket.
New categories for 2021 are Dynamos Centres of the Year, Wicketz Volunteer of the Year, Community Partner of the Year and Super 1s Hub of the Year.
This month’s event, which is sponsored by Touch Developments Limited, is also a celebration of Worcestershire Cricket’s achievements in keeping the county’s clubs up and running over the past 18 months and providing opportunities for a wide range of people from all age groups to get involved in the sport, both on and off the pitch.
Its many successes over the past year include supporting funding applications by clubs, delivering sessions to more than 3,000 schoolchildren across the county and the Black Country and smashing records for the ECB’s All Stars and Dynamos junior coaching programmes.
Some 1,734 five to eight-year-olds signed up for All Stars while in its first season Dynamos attracted 716 participants aged between eight and 11.
Worcestershire Cricket chairman Kevin Drew said: “Unprecedented times call for exceptional people and we have more than our share for a relatively small county. The unparalleled devotion to not only keeping the lights on in clubs in particular and cricket in general across the county but also taking the opportunity to review, renew and reinvigorate has been astonishing.
“As a board, we have ensured that Worcestershire Cricket is stronger, more vibrant and that more people are thinking cricket is THE game, not just a game for me.”
Craig Oakley, head of participation and growth, added: “Our fantastic team at Worcestershire Cricket have worked tirelessly over the past year to support the return to cricket and what an incredible year it has been.
“Working alongside the many volunteers, we have seen a record-breaking year in terms of participation across the county. This day will recognise and reward the unsung heroes of our game who selflessly give up countless hours to ensure there are opportunities for hundreds of men, women, girls and boys to be involved in cricket.”